Edmonton not thought of for its entrepreneurs: Canada-wide survey

Click to play video: 'City councillor Walters on concerns over Edmonton and investment' City councillor Walters on concerns over Edmonton and investment
WATCH ABOVE: City councillor Michael Walters is concerned Edmonton isn’t doing enough to spur investment and will be bringing those concerns to council this week. He joined Shaye Ganam on Global News Morning to talk about it. – Nov 7, 2016

It appears Edmonton has a long way to go before it is recognized as a place for entrepreneurship, according to a new survey by law firm Duncan Craig LLP.

Edmonton was named one of the hottest places to start and grow a business by Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2014 — but it appears the rest of the country didn’t get the memo.

Duncan Craig LLP, which boasts an established presence in Edmonton’s entrepreneurial scene, commissioned a nationwide survey to gauge Canadian attitudes towards the Alberta capital’s rising business scene.

READ MORE: GameChangers: Ken Bautista passionate about Edmonton entrepreneurs

The results show Edmonton still has a way to go to achieve recognition on the national playing field.

Of 1,000 people polled, 42 per cent said Toronto has the most successful entrepreneurs, followed by Vancouver at 22 per cent. Only five per cent selected Edmonton.

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The results also show people are more likely to think their own city is the best.

Watch below: Many see Edmonton as a city of entrepreneurs, but is the city seen as entrepreneurial? A recent survey suggests no. So, what does it mean as economic development goes out to sell Edmonton as a place to invest? Vinesh Pratap reports. 

Click to play video: 'Edmonton not thought of for its entrepreneurs: Canada-wide survey' Edmonton not thought of for its entrepreneurs: Canada-wide survey
Edmonton not thought of for its entrepreneurs: Canada-wide survey – Nov 17, 2016

At 61 per cent, respondents in Ontario were more than twice as likely to select Toronto as home to the most successful entrepreneurs than those in British Columbia (24 per cent).

Similarly, 51 per cent of British Columbians answered “Vancouver” compared to just 15 per cent of Ontario respondents.

With Alberta being home to two major cities, the majority – 29 per cent – of Alberta respondents leaned in favour of Calgary. Only 17 per cent selected Edmonton.

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The results come one day after Ward 10 Councillor Michael Walters said the city needs to take a good, hard look at how Edmonton stacks up in terms of being an investment-friendly city, and how it compares to others in terms of new business attraction.

Walters plans to introduce a motion at city council next week requesting city administration, in consultation with the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, develop a business report comparing Edmonton’s competitiveness to other cities of similar size.

READ MORE: Notley talks entrepreneurism, diversification in State of the Province address

The Duncan Craig LLP survey touched on that topic. When asked about the Edmonton’s business start-up scene, 44 per cent of Alberta respondents and 37 per cent of Canadians nationwide rated it as “somewhat competitive.”

“Edmonton business owners can get overshadowed by Canada’s larger markets, however Edmonton’s entrepreneurs continue to punch above their weight and are deserving of recognition from their Canadian peers and those abroad,” Ross Swanson, Partner at Duncan Craig LLP, said.

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The survey also asked people what they think is the most crucial for business success: community or capital. A slim majority – 31 per cent compared to 23 per cent – believe community and consumers are more crucial to small business success than financial and start-up incentives.

The law firm did point out Edmonton is home to several entrepreneurial success stories, such as Intuit Canada, Bioware and Boston Pizza. Other big businesses, including The Brick, Earls, Famoso and Pizza 73, were also launched in Edmonton.

WATCH BELOW: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 – There’s a long list of industry leaders that are shaping the future of business, society, health care and countless other fields. All of them are from our city. We call them “Game Changers” – and in this story, Shaye Ganam explores the incredible impact of BioWare.

The Google survey polled over 1000 respondents across the general population of Canada on the Google Consumer Surveys publisher network.

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A sign in downtown is part of a Make Something Edmonton project, Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Dave Carels, Global News

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